Tag Archives: gluten free

#NationalDessertDay: Some of the Best Sweet Treat Spots in NJ!

It’s #NationalDessertDay! Before you continue reading, I must worn you, you might experience a sugar rush! That’s okay, today is the day to cheat on those diets and indulge in those guilty pleasures! Here are a few of #HipNJ’s favorite local dessert spots to help you out!

1. Absolute Zero, Montclair

As you may or may not know, rolled ice cream has become “a thing” and Absolute Zero is the place to get it. In October 2016, Absolute Zero opened and has been putting smiles on customer’s faces ever since. Their hand made, Thai-inspired ice creams rolls are a combination of fresh milk, cream,  and other ingredients like fruit or cookies. They also offer a wide variety of toppings and flavors. The idea of rolled ice cream originated in Thailand, where street vendors would create and serve the ice cream on mobile carts. Now it has become an American favorite!

2. Gigi’s Cupcakes, Maplewood

I don’t know about you guys, but cupcakes are my absolute favorite dessert! They’re cute, fun, and tasty! What’s unique about Gigi’s Cupcakes is her signature icing swirl, with 3 layers of icing. Gigi has almost 100 locations nationwide, including one right here in Maplewood. Whether you’re planning an event or you just have a sweet tooth, Gigi’s cupcakes will satisfy your needs!

3. The Cookie Connect, Bloomfield

If you’re busy during the day on this year’s #NationalDessertDay, no worries, you can still celebrate by heading to The Cookie Connect for a late night treat! The Mission of this company is to “Make sure everyone’s late night cravings are fulfilled“. They bake their treats fresh daily, offering a standard menu of 12 cookies, seasonally changing beverages, ice cream, and their signature cupcake cup! This month’s cupcake cup flavor is Pumpkin Spice Latte, (yes I’ve tried it and yes, its as good as it sounds), get yours tonight!

4. Papa Ganache, Matawan

No, we did not forget about our #HipNJ vegans! Located in Matawan, all Papa Ganache’s treats are vegan and gluten free!

“Our products are heart healthy, cholesterol-free, no trans fat, no hydrogenated oil, no high fructose corn syrup, dairy-free, egg-free, all natural no preservatives, no animal products, and mostly organic.”

Papa Ganache has a wide variety of treats, like cakes, bars, cookies, pies and more! They also offer wholesale for those special occasions.   

5. Mo’Pweeze Bakery, Denville

Our last dessert spot is another vegan delight, (we had to give you guys options too!) Mo’Pweeze Bakery is 100% vegan, and free of the top 9 allergens. They were voted Best Gluten Free Goodies in Morris 2018. They offer many different desserts, such as donuts, edible cookie dough, cakes, brownies, and more! Their products are ALWAYS tree-nut, fish, shellfish, gluten, peanut, eggs, dairy, and sesame free. If you have other allergies, Mo’Pweeze will try their best to accommodate you!

The moral of the story is, there are no excuses this #NationalDessertDay! Whether you want to go super sweet or try to keep it healthy, there are so many places for desserts right here in New Jersey! Celebrate today the right way! 

Happy Eating! 

Samba Montclair Expands Menu

Samba Montclair has expanded its vegan and gluten-free options, and #HipNJ has the scoop!

In his never-ending quest to bring the freshest homestyle Brazilian cuisine to Essex County, Samba Chef/Owner Ilson Gonçalves continues to refine his offerings to reflect the season and his personal passions.

Plant lovers may enjoy meat-free versions of Gonçalves’s signature GF Yuca Gnocchi, served primavera-style for spring and Bobo de Vegetais, a rich stew with local seasonal vegetables, yuca purée, tomatoes, onions, coconut milk and cilantro. So satisfying, regulars won’t even miss the traditional shrimp.

Introduced last year, Samba’s Brunch has proven extremely popular and is now offered on both Saturday and Sunday, 11.00 am – 3.00 pm. Since Brazilian breakfast is quite different from what we’re accustomed to, Gonçalves created a fusion version so American palates may experience Brazilian flavors with their eggs and French toast.

Samba’s desserts are a constant, glorious work in progress. Now charmingly heart-shaped, their popular churro-style pastries are served with killer Dulce de Leche, a classic street snack emblematic of other Latino influences on Brazilian cuisine.

To learn more, click here.

Meatless Monday’s: Pereg Natural Foods & The Cheese Guy Team up

It’s summertime so that means farmer’s markets and grocery stores are overflowing with fresh and crisp produce. And the perfect way to put it all to delicious use is by creating vegetarian safe meals! VICKIGJ Public Relations knew it was a great time to feature some meat-free recipes featuring products from Pereg Natural Foods and The Cheese Guy.

Pereg Natural Foods and The Cheese Guy are a match made in vegetarian heaven. Pereg proudly bears all natural and non-dairy, lactose-free certification on its entire collection of exotic spices from around the world, as well as their gluten-free pasta, gluten-free cereals and gluten-free flours and their extensive line of all-natural products made from ancient grains. Many Pereg products are also non-GMO and Whole Grain certified. Brent Delman, a.k.a. “The Cheese Guy,” partners with small dairy farms to produce more than 35 varieties of hand-crafted, all-natural and kosher certified artisanal cheese.

These wildly popular recipes are perfect for Meatless Mondays … or any day of the week, especially in the summertime! Try these recipes for meat-free comfort foods that’ll even keep meat-lovers happy – perfect for the whole family.

Spinach and Goat Cheese Quiche
For crust:
2 cups Pereg Natural Almond Flour
½ tsp. Pereg Coarse Red Sea Salt
2 Tbsp. melted coconut oil, more for greasing pan
1 large egg whisked
1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary

For quiche:
1 medium shallot diced
1 cup fresh spinach
1 Tbsp. coconut oil
6 large eggs
1 cup milk
½ tsp. Pereg Kosher Salt
¼ tsp. Pereg Red Pepper flakes
½ cup The Cheese Guy Fresh & Creamy Goat Cheese, crumbled

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch pie pan and set aside. In a large bowl, combine almond flour and salt. Then add in remaining crust ingredients and mix into a shaggy ball. Press the dough into the bottom and sides of the 9-inch pie pan. Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool.

Meanwhile, make the filling. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat and heat olive oil. Add shallots and sauté for 5-7 minutes until translucent. Then add spinach and sauté just until slightly wilted, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a plate to cool.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, salt and red pepper flakes. Stir in the cooled spinach mixture and goat cheese.  Pour the mixture in the crust and bake for 35 minutes or until the quiche is firm and just barely jiggles. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Quinoa Pasta Mac and Cheese
1 8 oz. package Pereg Gourmet Quinoa Curvo Rigate
2½ Tbsp. all-purpose flour (or brown rice flour)
1 tsp. dry mustard
¼ tsp. nutmeg
4 Tbsp. butter, plus more to butter the pan
1 small onion diced
Salt
2 cups milk (2% or whole milk)
½ tsp. black pepper
10 oz. The Cheese Guy Raw Milk Sharp Cheddar Cheese (Shred the cheese for about 3½ cups)
1 cup The Cheese Guy shredded Parmesan cheese
½ cup Pereg Panko breadcrumbs
2 Tbsp. butter melted
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Bring 4-6 quarts of water with ½ tablespoon salt to a boil in a large stockpot. Add pasta and return to a rapid boil. Cook uncovered stirring occasionally until pasta is al dente, about 6 minutes. Drain well and set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, dry mustard and nutmeg. In a large stockpot, melt 4 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Then add onions and a pinch of salt and sauté until onions are translucent, 5-7 minutes.
Add the flour mixture to the onions and cook for a few minutes until the fat is absorbed and you form a roux. Then add in the two cups milk and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Simmer for 5-10 minutes until sauce is thick and smooth. Add in black pepper, 3 cups cheddar cheese (reserve ½ cup for the topping) and Parmesan cheese and combine. Season to taste with salt. Stir in pasta and mix until combined. Spread the pasta in a 9×9 inch casserole dish.
In a separate bowl, combine Panko breadcrumbs and 2 tablespoons melted butter. Sprinkle mixture and remaining cheddar cheese over the pasta. Bake for 15-20 minutes (uncovered) until cheese is bubbly and the top is lightly browned. Let cool 5 minutes and serve.

Kañiwa Cheese Burger
Kañiwa, a cousin of quinoa, is a tiny nutrient-rich grain that cooks up to a crunchy texture.

2 cups water
½ cup raw Pereg Natural Foods Kañiwa
1 cup water
1 cup cooked chickpeas, smashed, with the skins removed
½ cup Pereg Natural Foods Fine Panko
1 large egg whisked
1 garlic clove minced
¼ cup white onion, minced
¼ tsp. smoked paprika
½ tsp. kosher salt
¼ tsp. cracked black pepper
2 Tbsp. coconut oil
Cheese to taste (The Cheese Guy recommends a creamy, easy-melting Gouda or Havarti)
Combine kañiwa and water in a medium saucepan and bring water to a boil. Lower to a simmer, cover, and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until tender and the water is absorbed. Remove from heat and let cool. You should have 1 cup cooked.
Combine kañiwa with smashed chickpeas, panko, garlic, onion and spices. Form into two big patties or four smaller patties.  Fry 4-5 minutes per side in coconut oil over medium heat until outside is brown and inside is heated through. Melt cheese over top and serve.

ABOUT THE CHEESE GUY

Yonkers, NY-based Brent Delman has been involved in the specialty food business for more than two decades. His 35+ varieties of handcrafted kosher cheese range from several types of raw, organic, and sharp cheddars to gouda, brie, assorted Italian sheep milk cheeses, aged Parmesans, fresh mozzarellas, havartis, spicy varieties and more. Follow him on Facebook (www.facebook.com/BrentTheCheeseGuy) or Instagram (www.instagram.com/thecheeseguy).

ABOUT PEREG NATURAL FOODS

Pereg was established in 1906, and is based in Clifton, NJ. They first became known for their vast variety of pure and natural spices and spice blends, more than 60 in all, from traditional favorites to exotics from around the culinary world.  Today Pereg produces an array of all-natural products that include ancient grains and ancient grain blends, gluten free pasta, couscous, rice, gluten-free cereal and flour, and much more. Pereg Natural Foods products are available at select retailers throughout the US and Canada, and on their website, www.pereg-gourmet.com.